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Alley House / OA-Lab + Korea University

Alley House / OA-Lab + Korea University

© Kyungsub Shin© Yooseop Song© Kyungsub Shin© Kyungsub Shin+ 41

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© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin

Barren neighborhood in the city - “Alley House” is a small multi-family housing project located in the midst of congested mid-rise housing and commercial facility neighborhood in Seoul. Nature has often been pushed off of priority by the rapid urbanization of Seoul. Specifically, in this development-oriented mixed-use neighborhood, nature and public spaces are most alienated among many other areas in Seoul. Here, the ground floors of buildings are dominated by parking spaces without care for the public and pedestrians while only maintaining minimum space between the buildings without places to rest.

© Yooseop Song
© Yooseop Song
Plan - 2nd Floor
Plan - 2nd Floor
© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin
Section AA
Section AA
© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin

Spontaneous greeneries in alleys - However, based on the close observation of this area in its everyday life, it is possible to find solutions that can enrich the neighborhood with green and public space. Walking along the streets in this desolate neighborhood, there is evidence of green life sprouting in between the gaps of the buildings and the streets. The combination of the spontaneous generation of green life and residents’ desire for nature creates its unique pattern. Such coexistence opens up new possibilities to brighten up the desolate environment.

© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin

Architectural possibilities as learning from alleys - The “Alley House” project re-evaluates the architectural potential of the spontaneous greeneries in this urban neighborhood, through which it aims to provide a breathing space with nature in the middle of the dense city. The external staircase located in between the studio units not only serves as circulations but also provides a resting area for the residents. Through the niche space between the staircases and stair landing, the project ensures places for vegetation-growing, sitting, and resting. The staircase envisioned as an extension of the alley connects people’s living through the shared places and becomes a small park for residents’ everyday life. 

© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin
Section Perspective 02
Section Perspective 02
© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin

A private garden becomes a public landscape - Looking from the roadside, the East façade is neatly composed of white bricks, which contrasts with the messiness of the surrounding urban environment. Facing the small alley as the main entrance, the South façade brightens the darksome alley with yellow stairs and the brick facade with plants. It provides depths and spaces for plants to grow for both the residents and the public.

© Yooseop Song
© Yooseop Song
© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin

The plants growing on these gaps not only work as private gardens and facades but also mutually benefit the public by providing great scenery for the pedestrians’ everyday life. By overcoming local limitations, “Alley House” suggests alternative solutions to recover nature and community space in the barren neighborhood.

© Kyungsub Shin
© Kyungsub Shin

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Project location

Address:Seoul, South Korea

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Alley House / OA-Lab + Korea University" 22 Oct 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/970512/alley-house-oa-lab-plus-korea-university> ISSN 0719-8884
© Kyungsub Shin

小巷之家 / OA-Lab + KoreaUniversity

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